How army ants' iconic mass raids evolved

Army ants form some of the largest insect societies on the planet. They are quite famous in popular culture, most notably from a terrifying scene in Indiana Jones. But they are also ecologically important. They live in very ...

Ant colonies behave like neural networks when making decisions

Temperatures are rising, and one colony of ants will soon have to make a collective decision. Each ant feels the rising heat beneath its feet but carries along as usual until, suddenly, the ants reverse course. The whole ...

Honeybees show tipping points

Parasites, lack of food, cold snaps, pesticides, and poor management all can stress honeybee colonies, making it difficult to pin their collapse on a single source. However, in controlled field tests, honeybee colonies show ...

The importance of (experimental) design

One of the hottest debates in evolutionary biology concerns the origin of behaviour: is it genetically encoded or do animals and birds copy their parents or other individuals? A classic experiment published in 2000 seemed ...

Mass extinction may not cause all organisms to 'shrink'

The sizes of organisms following mass extinction events may vary more than previously thought, which may be inconsistent with the predictions of the so-called 'Lilliput effect,' according to a study published in PLOS ONE ...

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